Department of Psychology

Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu, Ph.D.

Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Experimental Psychology


B.A. (2005) New York University
M.A. (2007) and Ph.D. (2011) Stony Brook University
Postdoctoral Training (2011-2013) Alpert Medical School, Brown University and the Miriam Hospital

Research Interests

Dr. Xu's research focuses on close relationships (especially romantic relationships), behavioral health (especially weight control, smoking, and physical activity), and neuroimaging (particularly fMRI). Dr. Xu conducts basic research in each of these areas as well as more applied research in the overlaps. For example, she conducts applied close relationships research on how self-expansion (both at the social and individual level) and other processes affect overall health and health behaviors. Dr. Xu is also interested in these areas in the context of individual differences (e.g. factors such as trait self-control) as well as development over time (e.g. aging, as a romantic relationship progresses).

Selected Publications

Alosco, M.L., Gunstad, J., Jerskey, B.A., Xu, X., Clark, U.S., Hassenstab, J., Cote, D.M., Walsh, E., Labbe, D., Hoge, R., Cohen, R.A., & Sweet, L.H. (in press). The adverse effects of reduced cerebral perfusion on cognition and brain structure in older adults with cardiovascular disease. Brain and Behavior.

Alosco, M.L., Gunstad, J., Jerskey, B.A., Clark, U.S., Hassenstab, J.J., Xu, X., Poppas, A., Cohen, R.A., & Sweet, L.H. (2013). Left atrial size is independently associated with cognitive function. International Journal of Neuroscience, 123(8), 544-552.

Leahey, T.M., Xu, X., Unick, J.L., & Wing, R.R. (2013). A preliminary investigation of the role of self-control in behavioral weight loss treatment. Obesity Research & Clinical Practice. Epub ahead of print.

Xu, X., Brown, L., Aron, A., Acevedo, B., Cao, G., Feng, T., & Weng, X. (2012). Regional brain activity during early-stage intense romantic love predicted relationship outcomes 40 months later. Neuroscience Letters, 526(1), 33-38.

Xu, X., Wang, J., Lei, W., Aron, A., Westmaas, L., & Weng, X. (2012). Intense passionate love attenuates cigarette cue-reactivity in nicotine-deprived smokers: An fMRI study. PLoS ONE 7(7): e42235.

Darlow, S.D., & Xu, X. (2011). The influence of close others' exercise habits and perceived social support on exercise. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 12, 575-578.

Xu, X., Aron, A., Brown, L., Cao, G., Feng, T., & Weng, X. (2011). Reward and motivation systems: A brain mapping study of early-stage intense romantic love in Chinese participants. Human Brain Mapping, 32(2), 249-257.

Jagiellowicz, J., Xu, X., Aron, A., Aron, E., Cao, G., Feng, T. & Weng, X. (2011). The trait of sensory processing sensitivity and neural responses to changes in visual scenes. Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 6(1), 38-47.

Xu, X., Floyd, A.H.L., Westmaas, J.L., & Aron, A. (2010). Self-expansion and smoking abstinence. Addictive Behaviors, 35, 295-301.

Riela, S., Rodriguez, G., Aron, A., Xu, X., & Acevedo, B. P. (2010). Experiences of falling in love: Similarities and differences in culture, ethnicity, gender, and speed. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 27(4), 473-493.

Xu, X. (in press). The magic formula. In L. Bormans (Ed.), The World Book of Love. Belgium: Lannoo Publishers. (Collection on the topic of love by 100 researchers from around the world)

Xu, X. (2013). How does the brain react to a romantic breakup? Scientific American Mind, 24, 76.

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